Public education in Nevada

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K-12 Education in Nevada
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Education facts
State Superintendent: Dale Erquiaga
Number of students: 439,634[1]
Number of teachers: 21,132
Teacher/pupil ratio: 1:20.8
Number of school districts: 18
Number of schools: 649
Graduation rate: 63%[2]
Per-pupil spending: $8,527[3]
See also
Nevada Department of Education
Nevada school districts
List of school districts in Nevada
Nevada
School boards portal
Policypedia
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Education policy project
Public education in the United States
Public education in Nevada
Glossary of education terms
The Nevada public school system (prekindergarten-grade 12) operates within districts governed by locally elected school boards and superintendents. In 2012 Nevada had 439,634 students enrolled in a total of 649 schools in 18 school districts. While the national ratio of teachers to students was 1:16, in Nevada there were 21,123 teachers in the public schools, or roughly one teacher for every 21 students. There was roughly one administrator for every 450 students, compared to the national average of one administrator for every 295 students.[4] On average Nevada spent $8,527 per pupil in 2011, which ranked it 44th in the nation. The state's graduation rate was 63 percent in 2012. This was the Regulatory Adjusted Cohort Graduation Rate reported to the United States Department of Education for all students in 2011-2012.[5]

State agencies

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State Education Departments

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See also
Nevada Superintendent of Public Instruction
Nevada school districts
List of school districts in Nevada
Public education in Nevada
School board elections portal
According to the state's educational goals for 2020, the Nevada Department of Education is in charge of elevating student achievement results, improving the graduation rate, ensuring students are ready for college or careers upon finishing high school, overseeing the effectiveness of teachers and administrators, supporting and expanding programs that have proven to improve learning and increasing productivity.[6]

Dale Erquiaga was appointed Superintendent of Public Instruction by the governor in August 2013.[7]

The mission statement of the Nevada Department of Education reads:[8]

To improve student achievement and educator effectiveness by ensuring opportunities, facilitating learning, and promoting excellence.[9]

The Nevada State Board of Education sets education policy for the state. It is comprised of 11 members, four of whom are elected. The other seven are appointed.[10]

Common Core

Common Core, or the Common Core State Standards Initiative, is an American education initiative that outlines quantifiable benchmarks in English and mathematics at each grade level from kindergarten through high school. The Nevada Department of Education adopted these standards on June 22, 2010, and fully implemented them during the 2013-2014 school year.[11]

Regional comparison

See also: General comparison table for education statistics in the 50 states and Education spending per pupil in all 50 states

The following chart shows how Nevada compares to three neighboring states with respect to number of students, schools, the number of teachers per pupil, and the number of administrators per pupil. Further comparisons between these states with respect to performance and financial information are given in other sections of this page.

Regional Comparison
State Schools Districts Students Teachers Teacher/pupil ratio Administrator/pupil ratio Per pupil spending
Nevada 649 18 439,634 21,132 1:20.8 1:449.7 $8,527
Arizona 2,252 662 1,080,319 50,800 1:21.3 1:419.5 $7,666
California 10,170 1,187 6,287,834 268,689 1:23.4 1:389.4 $9,139
Utah 1,020 126 598,832 25,970 1:23.1 1:450.2 $6,212
United States 98,328 17,992 49,521,669 3,103,263 1:16 1:295.2 $10,994
Sources: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Common Core of Data (CCD), "State Nonfiscal Public Elementary/Secondary Education Survey", 2011-12 v.1a.

National Center for Education Statistics, Table 2. Number of operating public schools and districts, state enrollment, teacher and pupil/teacher ratio by state: School year 2011–12
U.S. Census Bureau, "Public Education Finances: 2011,Governments Division Reports," issued May 2013

Demographics

See also: Demographic information for all students in all 50 states

The following table displays the ethnic distribution of students in Nevada as reported in the National Center for Education Statistics Common Core of Data for 2011-2012.[12]

Demographic Information for Nevada's K-12 Public School System
Ethnicity Students State Percentage United States Percentage**
American Indian 5,031 1.14% 1.10%
Asian 24,786 5.64% 4.68%
African American 42,336 9.63% 15.68%
Hawaiian Nat./Pacific Isl. Students 5,502 1.25% 0.42%
Hispanic 174,121 36.91% 24.37%
White 164,626 37.45% 51.21%
Two or More 23,232 5.28% 2.54%
**Note: This is the percentage of all students in the United States that are reported to be of this ethnicity.

Enrollments by region type

See also: Student distribution by region type in the U.S.

A plurality of students in Nevada attend city schools. More than 70 percent of the state's students attend city or suburban schools, compared to approximately 6.6 percent who attend town schools. For a comparison of schools by region in Nevada and its surrounding states, look to the table below.

Student distribution by region type, 2011 - 2012 (as percents)
State City schools Suburban schools Town schools Rural Schools
Nevada 38.5% 32.0% 6.6% 22.9%
Arizona 48.5% 16.3% 10.0% 25.2%
California 43.4% 39.3% 6.1% 11.3%
Utah 16.5% 50.9% 12.9% 19.7%
U.S. average 28.9% 34.0% 11.6% 25.4%
Source: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Common Core of Data (CCD)

Academic performance

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Education policy terms
Academic bankruptcyAcademic EarthAcademic performanceBlaine AmendmentCharter schoolsCommon CoreDropout rateNAEPProgressive educationRegulatory Adjusted Cohort Graduation RateSchool vouchersTeacher merit pay
See also

NAEP scores

See also: NAEP scores by state

The National Center for Education Statistics provides state-by-state data on student achievement levels in mathematics and reading in the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). Compared to neighboring states, Nevada had a smaller percentage of students score at or above proficient in math and reading in fourth grade than Arizona and Utah. However, an equal or higher percentage of students in Nevada scored at or above proficient in math and reading in fourth grade compared to students in California.[13]

Percent of students scoring at or above proficient, 2012-2013
Math - Grade 4 Math - Grade 8 Reading - Grade 4 Reading - Grade 8
Nevada 34 28 27 30
Arizona 40 31 28 28
California 33 28 27 29
Utah 44 36 37 39
U.S. average 41 34 34 34
NAEP assessment data for all students 2012-2013

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Graduation, ACT and SAT scores

See also: Graduation rates by groups in state and ACT and SAT scores in the U.S.

The following table shows the graduation rates, average composite ACT and SAT scores, and rankings for Nevada and surrounding states.[13][14][15]

Comparison table for graduation rates and test scores**
State Graduation rate, 2012 Average ACT Composite, 2012 Average SAT Composite, 2013
Percent Quintile Score Participation rate Score Participation rate
Nevada 63% Fifth 21.3 34% 1454 48%
Arizona 76% Fourth 19.7 35% 1551 35%
California 78% Fourth 22.1 25% 1505 57%
Utah 80% Third 20.7 97% 1684 6%
U.S. average 80% 21.1 1498
**Regulatory Adjusted Cohort Rate (except for Idaho, Kentucky, Oklahoma, which did not report “Regulatory Adjusted Cohort Graduation Rate,” but instead used their own method of calculation).
Source: United States Department of Education, ED Data Express

Dropout rate

See also: Public high school dropout rates by state for a full comparison of dropout rates by group in all states

The high school event dropout rate indicates the proportion of students who were enrolled at some time during the school year and were expected to be enrolled in grades 9–12 in the following school year but were not enrolled by October 1 of the following school year. Students who have graduated, transferred to another school, died, moved to another country, or who are out of school due to illness are not considered dropouts. The average public high school event dropout rate for the United States remained constant at 3.3 percent for both SY 2010–11 and SY 2011–12. The event dropout rate for Nevada was higher than the national average at 4.1 percent in the 2010-2011 school year, and 3.9 percent in the 2011-2012 school year.[16]

Educational choice options

See also: School choice in Nevada

School choice options in Nevada include: charter schools, homeschooling, online learning, private schools and voluntary inter-district public school open enrollment.

Education funding and expenditures

See also: Nevada state budget
Breakdown of expenditures by function in FY 2012.
Source: National Association of State Budget Officers

According to the National Association of State Budget Officers (NASBO), the state spent approximately 23.6 percent of its fiscal year 2012 budget on elementary and secondary education. This is up seven percent, a 42.2 percent increase in the share of the budget from fiscal year 2008, when the state spent 16.6 percent of its budget on elementary and secondary education.[17][18][19][20][21] Over half of Nevada's education revenue comes from local funding. State funding accounts for about 33 percent, and federal funding accounts for just over 10 percent.

Comparison of financial figures for school systems
State Percent of budget (2012) Per pupil spending (2011) Revenue sources (2011)
Percent federal funds Percent state funds Percent local funds
Nevada 23.6% $8,527 10.68% 33.09% 56.24%
Arizona 19% $7,666 14.69% 41.22% 44.09%
California 19.9% $9,139 14.56% 55.06% 30.37%
Utah 24.7% $6,212 12.02% 51.19% 36.79%
Sources: NASBO, "State Expenditure Report," Table 8: Elementary and Secondary Education Expenditures As a Percent of Total Expenditures
U.S. Census Bureau, "Public Education Finances: 2011,Governments Division Reports," issued May 2013

Revenue breakdowns

See also: Public school system revenues in the U.S.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, public school system revenues in Nevada totaled approximately $4.2 billion in fiscal year 2011. The table and chart below present further detail, including revenue sources, for Nevada and surrounding states.[22]

Revenues by source, FY 2011 (amounts in thousands)
Federal revenue State revenue Local revenue Total revenue
Nevada $447,888 $1,388,154 $2,359,519 $4,195,561
Arizona $1,367,644 $3,839,130 $4,105,899 $9,312,673
California $9,995,705 $37,793,351 $20,848,699 $68,637,755
Utah $519,547 $2,211,870 $1,589,706 $4,321,123
U.S. total $74,943,767 $267,762,416 $264,550,594 $607,256,777
Public school revenues by source, FY 2011 (as percents)

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Expenditure breakdowns

See also: Public school system expenditures in the U.S.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, public school system expenditures in Nevada totaled approximately $4.3 billion in fiscal year 2011. The table and chart below present further detail, including expenditure types, for Nevada and surrounding states.[22]

Expenditures by type, FY 2011 (amounts in thousands)
Current expenditures** Capital outlay Other*** Total expenditures
Nevada $3,712,313 $324,287 $270,077 $4,306,677
Arizona $8,157,006 $796,052 $634,413 $9,587,471
California $56,784,812 $6,535,512 $3,579,908 $66,900,232
Utah $3,600,074 $693,458 $234,361 $4,527,893
U.S. total $520,577,893 $52,984,139 $29,581,293 $603,143,325
**Funds spent operating local public schools and local education agencies, including such expenses as salaries for school personnel, student transportation, school books and materials, and energy costs, but excluding capital outlay, interest on school debt, payments to private schools, and payments to public charter schools.
***Includes payments to state and local governments, payments to private schools, interest on school system indebtedness, and nonelementary-secondary expenditures, such as adult education and community services expenditures.
Source: National Center for Education Statistics
Public school expenditures, FY 2011 (as percents)

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Personnel salaries

See also: Public school teacher salaries in the U.S.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the average national salary for classroom teachers in public elementary and secondary schools has declined by 1.3 percent from the 1999-2000 school year to the 2012-2013 school year. During the same period in Nevada, the average salary increased by four percent.[23]

Estimated average salaries for teachers (in constant dollars**)
1999-2000 2009-2010 2011-2012 2012-2013 Percent difference
Nevada $53,830 $54,999 $55,467 $55,957 4%
Arizona $50,430 $50,119 $49,501 $49,885 -1.1%
California $65,159 $72,803 $69,672 $69,324 6.4%
Utah $47,757 $48,980 $48,961 $49,393 3.4%
U.S. average $57,133 $58,925 $56,340 $56,383 -1.3%
**"Constant dollars based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI), prepared by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, adjusted to a school-year basis. The CPI does not account for differences in inflation rates from state to state."

Organizations

Unions

In 2012, the Fordham Institute and Education Reform Now assessed the power and influence of state teacher unions in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Their rankings were based on 37 different variables in five broad areas, including: resources and membership, involvement in politics, scope of bargaining, state policies and perceived influence. Nevada ranked 25th overall, or average, which was in the middle tier of five.[24]

The main union related to the Nevada school system is the Nevada State Education Association, an affiliate of the National Education Association (NEA).

List of local Nevada school unions:[25]

Taxpayer-funded lobbying

See also: Nevada government sector lobbying

The main education government sector lobbying organization is the Nevada Association of School Boards. Each of Nevada's school districts is a member of the organization.[26]

Transparency

On January 15, 2009, Governor Jim Gibbons launched Nevada Open Government, a statewide searchable online database for financial data.[27]

Education ballot measures

See also: Education on the ballot and List of Nevada ballot measures


Ballotpedia staff have tracked 8 statewide ballot measures relating to education.

  1. Nevada Corporate Tax for Education, Question 6 (1990)
  2. Nevada Fund Education First, Question 1 (2006)
  3. Nevada Margin Tax for Public Schools Initiative, Question 3 (2014)
  4. Nevada Per Pupil Expenditure, Question 2 (2004)
  5. Nevada Public School Financing, Question 3 (1956)
  6. Nevada Public School Funding, Question 1 (2004)
  7. Nevada Selection of University Board of Regents Amendment, Question 9 (2006)
  8. Nevada State Debt Limit School Exemption, Question 7 (2002)

Studies and reports

State Budget Solutions education study

See also: State spending on education v. academic performance (2012)

State Budget Solutions examined national trends in education from 2009 to 2011, including state-by-state analysis of education spending, graduation rates, and average ACT scores. The study showed that the states which spent the most did not have the highest average ACT test scores, nor did they have the highest average graduation rates. A summary of the study is available here. The full report can be accessed here.

See also

External links

References

  1. National Center for Education Statistics, "Table 2. Number of operating public schools and districts, state enrollment, teacher and pupil/teacher ratio by state: School year 2011–12," accessed March 18, 2014
  2. ED Data Express, "State Tables Report," accessed March 17, 2014 The site includes this disclaimer: "States converted to an adjusted cohort graduation rate [starting in the 2010-2011 school year], which may or may not be the same as the calculation they used in prior years. Due to the potential differences, caution should be used when comparing graduation rates across states."
  3. United States Census Bureau, "Public Education Finances: 2011," accessed March 18, 2014
  4. United States Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, "Common Core of Data (CCD); Table 2.—Number of operating public schools and districts, state enrollment, teacher and pupil/teacher ratio by state: School year 2011-12," accessed May 12, 2014
  5. United States Department of Education, "ED Data Express," accessed May 12, 2014
  6. State of Nevada Department of Education, "State Educational Goals," accessed May 21, 2014
  7. State of Nevada Department of Education, "Superintendent of Public Instruction," accessed May 21, 2014
  8. State of Nevada Department of Education, "About NDE," accessed May 21, 2014
  9. Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
  10. State of Nevada Department of Education, "State Board of Education," accessed May 21, 2014
  11. Common Core State Standards Initiative, "Core Standards in your State," accessed July 12, 2014
  12. United States Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, "Common Core of Data (CCD), State Nonfiscal Public Elementary/Secondary Education Survey, 2011-2012," accessed May 7, 2014
  13. 13.0 13.1 United States Department of Education, ED Data Express, "State Tables," accessed May 13, 2014
  14. ACT, "2012 ACT National and State Scores," accessed May 13, 2014
  15. Commonwealth Foundation, "SAT Scores by State 2013," October 10, 2013
  16. United States Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, "Common Core of Data (CCD), State Dropout and Graduation Rate Data File, School Year 2010-11, Provision Version 1a and School Year 2011-12, Preliminary Version 1a," accessed May 13, 2014
  17. National Association of State Budget Officers, "State Expenditure Report, 2011-2013," accessed February 21, 2014
  18. National Association of State Budget Officers, "State Expenditure Report, 2009-2011," accessed February 24, 2014
  19. National Association of State Budget Officers, "State Expenditures Report, 2010-2012," accessed February 24, 2014
  20. National Association of State Budget Officers, "State Expenditure Report, 2009," accessed February 24, 2014
  21. National Association of State Budget Officers, "State Expenditure Report, 2008," accessed February 24, 2014
  22. 22.0 22.1 United States Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, "Revenues and Expenditures for Public Elementary and Secondary School Districts: School Year 2010–11," accessed May 13, 2014
  23. United States Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, "Table 211.60. Estimated average annual salary of teachers in public elementary and secondary schools, by state: Selected years, 1969-70 through 2012-13," accessed May 13, 2014
  24. Thomas E Fordham Institute, "How Strong Are U.S. Teacher Unions? A State-By-State Comparison," October 29, 2012
  25. Center for Union Facts, "Nevada teachers unions," accessed October 29, 2009
  26. Nevada Association of School Boards, "NASB History," accessed May 21, 2014
  27. Governor Jim Gibbons, "Nevada Open Government executive order," March 18, 2008